Every day, environmental health and safety professionals make a myriad of decisions using their technical skills, which have far-reaching effects for both organizations and the public at large. But, while those technical skills are crucial, making the right decisions goes beyond this knowledge. Determining the best way to meet the needs of colleagues and employers, as well as enlisting them to help meet goals, takes effective listening.
What is Effective Listening?
Effective listening, a more active form of listening, is a process that goes beyond simply hearing. While you hear with your ears, you listen with your entire body, including your ears, eyes, heart, and brain.
“The overarching principle of effective listening is to seek first to understand, then to be understood,” said Rick Fulwiler, president of Transformational Leadership Associates, a program director at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the former director of health and safety worldwide at Procter and Gamble. “It requires much more energy than just passive listening, but you will not be as successful without effective listening skills.”
Effective listening, according to Fulwiler, is about words, dance, and music—the other person’s words, tonality, and body language. This is what listening with your entire body is about. It means going beyond someone’s words by paying attention to body language how the words are spoken and putting this into the context of what you know about this individual.
How To Listen Effectively
Effective listening is not something that comes naturally to many people. Being able to listen effectively—and then use these skills for influential leadership—is a skill that must be learned and practiced. This is particularly true in fields such as environmental health and safety, where technical skills are often emphasized over soft skills, such as communication.
However, there are many barriers to effective listening, particularly in our modern world. According to Fulwiler, some of the most common are
Read the full story here.
Don't miss our latest HSE content, delivered to your inbox twice monthly. Sign up for the HSE Now newsletter. If you are not logged in, you will receive a confirmation email that you will need to click on to confirm you want to receive the newsletter.
27 Sep 2018
- Dallas, Texas
11 Nov 2018
- Abu Dhabi, UAE
Training course by Dr. Kamel Ben-Naceur
17 Sep 2018
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Training course -- Plan to attend!
18 - 19 Sep 2018
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Regulatory pressure and public perception are driving a significant focus on wellbore abandonments. Complications arise when there are integrity issues that require remediation. Explore new techniques for resolving these issues.
8 - 9 Oct 2018
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Well integrity is often managed as part of the asset’s lifecycle production and maintenance. But ageing wells pose new challenges. Learn how to manage integrity sustainably.
HSE Now is a source for news and technical information affecting the health, safety, security, environment, and social responsibility discipline of the upstream oil and gas industry.
©2003-2018 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved.